Feeds

Pacemaker users get digital radio warning

Breathtaking technology

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A reader was taken aback when he took delivery of digital radio handset from Motorola that contained a series of warnings for pacemaker users.

The Motorola d700 handsets, which will be used in a Terrestrial Trunk Radio (TETRA) digital communications project, contain recommendations from the Health Industry Manufacturers Association which advise a minimum separation of 15cm between a handset and a pacemaker.

This advice, albeit well intentioned, leads to a number of surprising tips.

Pacemaker users should not keep handsets in their breast pockets and furthermore should "use the ear opposite the pacemaker to minimise the potential for interference".

It goes on: "if you have any reason to suspect that interference is taking place" with a pacemaker you should "turn the handset OFF immediately" -- that's if you've not been hit by shortness of breath, of course.

We gather there's also warnings about hearing aids, "other medical devices", explosives, and a range of other things, which leads our reader to conclude that "it's hardly surprising people are scared of these things".

A health and safety expert at Motorola confirmed the information and pointed out, quite reasonably, that the instructions are part of the training it provides its users to make sure its equipment is used safely.

He said that "similar power levels" were used by Tetra and GSM equipment, which means that interference levels were "not horrifically different", though higher, than older analogue technologies commonly in use today by emergency services, the chief market for Tetra.

So, should pacemaker users avoid mobile phones? Well the issue seems to have more to do with the electrical immunity, or lack of it, associated with a particular pacemaker -- whose manufacturers ought to provide concerned users with all the information they need.

It makes you think though. ®

Related stories:
Interference clouds future of multi-billion police radio project
Police radios can trigger positive breath test

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.